¡ The calamity;
* what is the calamity?
+ And what shall apprise thee of the calamity?
1-3 Calamity translates qāriʿah, which comes from the verb qaraʿa, meaning, “to beat or strike something so that it makes a deafening sound.” The repetition of the question in vv. 2-3 (which is similar to 69:2-3) is meant to emphasize that the true nature of the calamity, which is thought to be the Day of Judgment, is difficult if not impossible to comprehend. Thus the following verses do not define the calamity, but describe some of its marks.